Friday, October 14, 2011

A Moment of Inspiration

I've had a moment of inspiration.

I was reading Beedo's Dreams in the Lich House post about Threat Analysis in a Weird Setting, where he discussed a campaign set in quasi-historic Reformation-era Europe and based on the diary of an inquisitor when a moment of inspiration has struck me. I have been thinking for some time about a post-Revolutionary city where conspiracies, both mundane and occult, abound, but now I had a framework for my campaign: the PCs would be agents of the City's equivalent of the Committee of Public Safety charged with investigating various threats to the new Republic.

Not only will this give the PCs a lot of freedom and a powerful patron, but also a reason to adventure: to investigate an root out conspiracies, secret societies and cults of all sorts, not to mention monsters.

I'll talk to Hani about this - she has a keen interest in revolutionary history, so this might appeal to her...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A New, Revolutionary Direction?

First and foremost, after purchasing Vornheim from LotFP, I've decided once more to go for a city of 100,000 people rather than a small town. I think that my mistake, so far, was to try and detail each and every part of the city/town, rather than paint it with very broad strokes; this meant creating a lot of stuff which won't be useful in actual play. Vornheim has inspired me to think bigger, all while keeping away from all the details that might burden me without contributing to play.

That said, I had some interesting and radical thoughts about this setting. In short, I'd like to set it a few years after a major revolution which has deposed the city's ruling Duke, as well as large parts of the nobility, and won independence for the Zagadur Peninsula from the mainland kingdom. Vive la republique!

Why a revolution? Because that means instability, factionalism, monarchist conspiracies, revolutionary conspiracies and all the attendant chaos - in short, a TON of adventuring opportunities as well as openings for ambitious players to gain wealth and power.
Revolutions also mean an opening to all sorts of radical new ideas to be put to play, from mad scientists (Frankenstein!) to steampunk to particularly weird magic.

Inspiration will come not only from the French Revolution but also from other revolts and revolutions in history, from Dolcino's revolt through the Hussites and the German Peasant War to the English and American Revolutions to the Paris Commune. All of these mean a lot of ideas, plots, factions and conspiracy. Like the game deserves.

The New Faith will survive the Revolution, but sectarianism will intensify inside it, leading to secret religious wars conducted in the dark with cloaks and daggers, especially between the Forge (conservative) sect and the Anvil (reform) sect, both worshipping the same God, but sharply disagreeing on how to interpret the holy word.

The Revolution will also work well with the Stonehell megadungeon module; the Duke used to dump his opponents into Stonehell, and now that his reign is over, promises of gold and glory - as well as potential rescue missions - draw intrepid souls to it.

In short, a lot of chaos and infighting. And conspiracies. And much, much darker things emerging from the cracks of old society to haunt the new one.

What do you think about this? Will it work?